Top Ten Start For Hunt Gold Coast driver Josh Hunt will start tomorrow's sixth round of the Toyota Atlantic Championship from tenth position at the Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, USA in his Wright Patton Shakespeare ...
Top Ten Start For Hunt
Gold Coast driver Josh Hunt will start tomorrow's sixth round of the Toyota Atlantic Championship from tenth position at the Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, USA in his Wright Patton Shakespeare supported entry.
Continuing to build on the momentum gained during his debut on the historic airport circuit yesterday 19-year-old Hunt set the ninth fastest time during this morning's practice session.
In this afternoon's final qualifying session Hunt backed yesterday's performance up by improving his fastest lap time by 1.6 seconds, a time that would have put the Queensland teenager just outside the top five during the opening session.
"I feel a lot more comfortable in the car and with the track today and this is reflected in my lap times," said Hunt.
"There is only a couple of tenths between where I am on the grid and the top five, the guys in my Lynx Racing team are working hard to chase this time and in turn work towards the holy grail.
"With every lap my times are still coming down, in a couple of sections the car feels fairly nervous which is where I am losing precious tenths, if we can improve in this area for tomorrow's race we will be in good shape."
In all but one race in this year's Championship Hunt has elevated himself up from his starting position but several spots and he is confident that he will continue this form in tomorrow's 32-lap race.
"In qualifying we didn't pull one quick lap out of the hat, I was consistently around the same time or improving lap after lap," said Hunt.
"As a team we have shown good race pace during the opening five rounds and I see no reason why this form won't continue tomorrow.
"Turn one is always treacherous here because the track is so wide, my plan will be once I get through there first and then put my head down and focus on moving up the order."
The 32-lap race will commence at 2:30pm local time tomorrow.
The local time in Cleveland is 14 hours behind Australian Eastern Standard time.
All Toyota Atlantic cars are manufactured by Swift Engineering and powered by a 1600cc Toyota engine 240 horsepower producing speeds in excess of 160 mph (260 kmh) while using a 15-inch diameter lightweight aluminium wheels mounted with Yokohama tyres.
Run in conjunction with the opening round of the Champ Car World Series, this is the 31st year of competition for the Toyota Atlantic Championship and is regarded as the premier training ground for the future stars of the sport.
Hunt is the first Australian to compete in the Toyota Atlantic Series since fellow Queenslander David Besnard in 1999 and has received major support from Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group, which is owned by Gold Coast businessman Craig Gore and Champ Car World Series Co-Owner and Aussie Kevin Kalkhoven.
A successful year in the Toyota Atlantic Championship will see Hunt make his Champ Car debut in the Lexmark Indy 300 on the streets of the Gold Coast on October 21-24.
The Toyota Atlantic race at Cleveland is the six of 12 rounds in the Championship. All 12 scheduled races this year will be run in conjunction with Champ Car World Series events on tracks that include road courses and ovals, as well as street and airport circuits with eight rounds in America, one in Mexico and three in Canada.